Partnering with Congress to Invest in Global Development and Humanitarian Assistance
InterAction’s Public Policy team advocates for the policy priorities of InterAction and its members, primarily with Congress and the Executive Branch of the US government. The team helps to coordinate the policy positions of members, as well as the community’s outreach efforts, in order to maximize the effectiveness of NGOs in influencing the US government’s policy decisions and budget priorities.
InterAction’s 2017 policy and advocacy work was focused in three key areas:
- Advocacy towards Congress to ensure sufficient funding for the international affairs budget
- Mobilizing the INGO community to respond to changes in administration priorities and policies
- Fostering coordination and education of the INGO community on key issue areas and legislation
In response to a Congressional appropriations bill amendment proposing specific and unfair funding restrictions on its parent organization, Islamic Relief Worldwide, Islamic Relief USA approached InterAction to rally a unified community action against the effort that ultimately helped to defeat the amendment.
Within 48 hours of initially learning of the amendment, InterAction worked closely with our community and the leadership at Islamic Relief USA to mobilize 50 member organizations to place pressure on the Congressional supporters, leadership and the amendment’s sponsor. Because of the sensitive nature of the topic and concerns about disinformation, much of the communication and mobilizing was done behind the scenes by InterAction leadership, policy and communications teams.
InterAction worked closely with a Congressional champion to educate congressional offices on the implications of the amendment and demonstrate a united front against the policy change. These actions lead to the amendment’s withdrawal from consideration.
The legislative maneuver was an unprecedented attack on one of our sector’s organizations, and the community response was a strong showing of support from both faith-based and secular champions that rallied to defeat the amendment. Following the defeat of the amendment, InterAction policy and communication teams organized an after-action session with the community to help identify best practices and lessons learned when mobilizing the community against legislative challenges.